Londinium and an orange cocoon cardigan

So I said in my last post that I feel like a cardigan experimenter, & here’s another!  Well more of a cloak-igan.  This is my October Minerva make & I gave it a test drive on a recent trip to the Big Smoke, so I’ve chucked in a few snaps about some sights I saw at the end.  If you are at all interested.  No obligation as always.

So let’s talk cardigans.  Or cocoons.  It started with the fabric, this burnt orange knitted mohair blend. Brought to my attention by the lovely Manju at the Minerva Meet up way back in the summer. You might know me by now to realise that I could not pass this up. OK, so orange is less my colour, but a sweater knit fabric for me equals cardigans that I don’t have to knit.

I had a few ideas about what to make – perhaps another Julia cardigan or even the new Jenna by Muse patterns. But in the end I had enough fabric to make this beauty from Burdastyle- the Cocoon Cardigan 11/2013 #107.

cocoon cardi

It’s a simple raglan sleeved cocoon style cardigan of cloaklike proportions. It’s HUGE. It has inseam pockets too. Easy sewing though. I used my overlocker for practically all of it – even attaching the neck/ hem band as if it was a t-shirt neckband – sewing the band into a circle, then folding in half wrong sides together and stitching it on that way o the body of the cardigan.

cocoon cardi hem

The fabric is very light & could really stretch out of shape. That’s why I think it worked pretty well with this pattern because the hem/ neckband is interfaced & therefore forces the cardigan to behave & keep its cocoon shape – it even serves the function of slightly pulling the cardigan’s body in a bit.

cocoon cardigan back

At times it felt that there was almost too much cardigan for attaching to the hem /neck band without gathering – however, this fabric is mega forgiving in that respect & allowed me to manipulate it into place.

cocoon cardigan

I had to do the same with the cuffs though – this is not part of the pattern. The pattern just gets you to make a hem at the sleeve hems – but you can see that this did not work very well at all for this type of fabric. After hemming with a triple zig zag stitch on my regular machine, I hated the trumpet splayed effect & cut it off.

Cocoon cardi cuff

I cut my own cuff bands with the grain running vertically to keep the stretch in check, & applied them as I did the hem/ neck band.

cocoon cardi cuff

Worked a treat.

So my cardigan did me well in London when I went visiting last weekend – just got a couple of pics. You can see it is REALLY LONG!

cocoon cardi

But as a layering light weight jacket it is perfect. I felt snug but not overly hot.  Works the day to night styling too!

cocoon cardi

If you want a blanket-type cocoon – this fabric would be too light weight.

I can see it’s going to work well with skinnies as well. It really isn’t my usual type shape to wear, but I love it! And I might be an orange convert- it looks so fantastic with navy. And it must be the colour for October don’t you think? Although I notice this fabric also comes in yellow if you fancy another kind of citrus!

So these photos were taken on location.  The very first one, in the thriving spice-scented…

brick lane We wandered around, but it was too early to eat & too late to shop- I did notice the odd fabric shop there which appeared to be Aladdin’s caves crossed with the wardrobe from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Brick lane

I have come across tips for “fashion bloggers” to find interesting backdrops &  graffiti to base photoshoots around & around this area there were so many examples of incredible street art.  But I was too bashful for those that were in reach.  This plainly was not within reach!

My reason for visiting was to go to the Globe with my school friends, something that was a brand new experience for most of us.  We scoffed first of all at rather a cool brunch at Kings Cross – Caravan. I had no idea it was right next to St Martin’s.  The photo with the fountains was taken right outside.  And the brunch has not managed to disappear from my consciousness, such a wonderful taste treat – some kind of spicy cornbread combo , eggs, black beans.  Set us up right good & proper for the hilarity at the Globe.

Globe

Now I studied a few Shakespeare plays at school & am not a complete heathen, however, I had no idea that a Shakespeare comedy could be laugh out loud funny.  And laugh out loud funny without having studied it to know the “in jokes” or cleverness of the Bard.  We saw “A Comedy of Errors” & it was genuinely one of the funniest plays I have ever seen.  Slapstick & silliness.  Great acting & the intimacy at the Globe allows  facial expressions to play a real part in the performance for everyone.  There were times when it felt as if Fawlty Towers had taken a step back into Elizabethan time.  We sat in the posh bit 😉  We had no way of knowing that it wouldn’t be raining on an October weekend when we booked it 6 months ago!

Globe

Yes, up there.  So after a rollicking good time at the Globe we wandered along the River, noticing that the Golden Hind was sitting on a filmy sea of green

Golden Hind

then taking tea with an amazing view at HMS Belfast.

London

Our goal was to check out the Poppies at the Tower of London – the Bloodswept Lands and seas of Red. 

Poppies at the Tpwer

Marking 100 years since Britain’s involvement in the First World War, this installation of ceramic poppies takes your breath away in its beauty & poignancy.  Each poppy represents a British life lost on the battlefield during the war.

Poppies

Work in progress, it grows.  I thought it was beautiful.  Find out more here if you are interested.

London is just so exciting.  Every time I visit I see something new, yet feel ever more comfortable – even if I am the Country mouse.  And guess what?  I shall be seeing London’s sights from a whole different perspective next April as I run around them in the Marathon!!!!!!!!  Yes.  I was freaked out to get a place in the ballot.  Guiltily so.  This is my first time entering the ballot.  I consider it to be a sign …. but more of that another time.

27 thoughts on “Londinium and an orange cocoon cardigan

  1. Rachel

    What an epic post! I awoke early this morning and I’m glad, because it meant I got to read this first thing – what a great way to start the day! So LONDON MARATHON!!!! You’ll be ace. I would really like to see the poppies. The artists are very clever as it is such a beautiful, poignant and arresting installation; which rather hits the nail on the head. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Rachel ☺

    Reply
  2. Manju

    Love your cardigan Winnie! I have not made anything with my fabric yet but you’ve inspired me and given me lots of great tips! Yes it is a different shape for you, but I think it looks fab.

    Reply
  3. joelle

    i actually missed a breath and cried a few tears when i saw the pictures of the poppies installation. so much sadness and violence contained in all the beauty of this poppy field pouring from the castle. i am quite speechless by how perfect the symbolism is. thanks for sharing.
    also, on a more cheerful note, i just love that first photo of you! very fashion blogger, but so you!!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Yes, the poppies are just an effective way to catch our attention & make sure we never forget. And thank you for the fashion blogger compliment – I wasn’t consciously aiming for that – maybe that’s the secret!!

      Reply
  4. Jane

    That’s a difficult shape (and colour) of cardi to pull off Winnie, but by Jove you’ve done it! You look fab and I also love that first photo of you. We saw a lot of those Kings Cross fountains over the summer – Charlie was obsessed with them – so it’s nice to see them pop up on your blog! x

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      The shape would have put me off but there was something about it that pulled me to take the risk – so a big thank you for saying so!There are so many great locations in London – it’s such a “cool” place (I really sound like a country mouse now!!)

      Reply
  5. Sam

    Lovely to see this fabric made up, I remember you and Manju looking at it at the Minerva meet-up. I’ve seen a couple of Shakespeare’s comedies and was amazed by how funny they were – in particular Much Ado About Nothing. The serious plays on the other hand I don’t understand at all!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I think I need to give some of the other plays a revisit, you know. I agree, the historical plays are too much for me, but I love Othello, Romeo & Juliet (mainly because I studied them & came to appreciate them better)

      Reply
  6. Ginger

    The poppies installation is so breathtaking- I wish I could see it in person, but your photos are the next best thing! This cardigan really works on you! I made it and didn’t have the problem with the body feeling too big for the band, so that’s probably due to the stretchiness of your fabric. But it’s a good call to use something stretchy- the pattern sizing runs huge, so in my bulkier fabric I had to go back and take it in a TON to make it wearable. Yours looks really drapey and nice instead of bulky. Well done!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I can remember your version Ginger! It looked way more snugly than mine, but probably showed me how cool such a shape could look!!
      This fabric is very loose, so it’s interesting that your version of this didn’t have band sizing issues! Definitely a stretchy fabric thing!

      Reply
  7. LinB

    Oh, the poppies are so beautiful! Watched BBC America last night to see the Queen and Prince Phillip walk through the display. What a magnificent way to honor the long-dead.

    I think the orange sweater wrap is a great success — we should never stop experimenting. The orange is blue enough to work well with your coloring. I can sometimes find a coral that is “cool” enough to wear, but most oranges make me look like Death eating a graham cracker.

    And I’m glad you are in the Willie S. fan club — I wish that more people could get to see good productions. They’d understand why he is so justifiably famous.

    Happy Autumn!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Lin! Yes, I agree with the Bardic plaudits in this instance, but we are all so used to being entertained passively with minimal effort, aren’t we? And that sometimes makes Shakespeare less accessible since my past experience has really enjoyed the study of it to get more of an appreciation of its cleverness & context. But they can’t all be like that, & this proves it!
      The orange is just fab. It’s the same orange as something I made much earlier – & I do love it with navy- perfection!

      Reply
  8. Louise

    Wow! A whole heap of treats with this post! Love the cardi, such a great colour and cuddly without being frumpy. The poppies look amazing and I wish I could make it down south for a look, but no time left 🙁
    Comedy of Errors is brill isn’t it!! We saw it a couple of months ago with an all male cast – the Abbess in very risqué drag was hilarious!!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I like to hear how you also enjoyed the Comedy of Errors! It seems as if it’s a play that has humour that is more adaptable to each production- on top of the plot, the dialogue & acting. It’s had a very positive impact on me!

      Reply
  9. Suse

    I am so completely jealous that you went to the Globe!

    Lovely cardigan too. I’ve been readiny you for a while (since Me Made May I think) but don’t think I’ve commented before. Oh except on Instragram maybe.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hello Suse! In that case a huge welcome & thank you for leaving a comment. Nice to hear from you over here 🙂 I’ve been a bit part time on IG recently – just have been diverted too much elsewhere- sounds odd doesn’t it! But true for now. I’ll be picking it back up again now my life is calming down a bit

      Reply
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